Army Says Rapist Officer in Custody, Being Investigated
M T Butt
February 13: After a nationwide uproar, protests, demonstrations
and condemnation worldwide, Pakistan Army has reluctantly conceded
it had taken Captain Hammad, the officer accused of gang raping
the lady doctor in Sui, Balochistan, into custody.
rape earlier in January and the subsequent armed rebellion in
Sui cost the country billions in economic losses and incalculable
loss of prestige but for weeks the Army refused to even investigate
the charges against the Captain.
General Shaukat Sultan, Director General of the Inter-Services
Public Relations (ISPR) confirmed to The Daily Times
of Lahore on Saturday that Captain Hammad was “in custody.”
But he tried to play down the arrest saying: “He was taken
into custody a few days ago and was being investigated.”
the Army kept his “detention” a closely guarded secret
for so many days is still a mystery as the Balochi nationalists
and Parliamentarians of all parties were unanimously demanding
his arrest prior to any serious negotiations to avert an Army
operation against Balochi tribesmen. The entire Parliament was
in uproar demanding action against the rapists but the Army kept
Asia Tribune has learnt that the belated admission that Capt
Hammad was ‘in custody’ was merely a political statement
as he had been told to stay with his family, not to move about
until “investigations” were completed to clear his
Captain Hammad is not under arrest
because if that had been so, he should have been produced before
any legal authority, any court of law, whether military of civilian.
fact, South Asia Tribune has learnt, that he was being
provided full protection by the top aides of General Musharraf
himself. “Hammad is a nephew of the wife of a key Corps
Commander posted north of Rawalpindi who is also related to General
Musharraf’s military staff, a Major General,” one
source in the Presidency said.
powerful relatives of Captain Hammad have been delaying all action
by police and even Army high command, against him despite the
fact that he was pinpointed by the PPL Hospital staff and the
Defence Services Group in which he was posted at Sui.
These links also explain the virtual
lack of authority and helplessness of the Balochistan Government
in dealing with the rape case, as any rape case should have been
dealt with under the law, whether civil or military.
the rape was reported early in January, and Police took action
to record statements and arrest those involved, the Army authorities
forced the PPL management to cover up the case, refuse permission
to the Police to meet the raped lady doctor and shifted her illegally
to Karachi. Later Army officers physically intervened and beat
the Dera Bugti Police officials out of their area. They had to
take refuge in neighboring Sindh.
when Police detained the doctors of PPL to record their statements,
Army authorities again stopped them, making their interference
so blatant that furious Baloch locals took up arms and began rocket
desperation Baloch Police officials quietly sent the South
Asia Tribune all their reports, letters and correspondence
of PPL officials to prove that they were being obstructed by the
Army in carrying out their legal duties.
While the Baloch tribesmen started
an armed insurrection, human rights and women rights groups throughout
the country began protests demanding the arrests of the real culprits
and exposure of those who were protecting the criminals.
Major General Shaukat Sultan has officially admitted that Captain
Hammad, the main accused, was with the Army authorities for many
days. What action had been taken against him, under what law has
he been booked, if so, or whether he is enjoying the cozy comforts
of his home is not yet known.
News Agency reported on Saturday from Islamabad that a Special
Army Investigation team has taken prime suspect in the lady doctor
Shazia gang rape case Captain Hammad of Defense Services Group
and five other army personnel into custody after finding fresh
evidence in the case.
to evidence gathered in the rape case three used condoms have
been found from the room of Dr Shazia and after DNA tests of the
semen in the condom it was found that the condoms were used by
the same man.
to DNA tests the hair samples taken from Dr Shazia's room belong
to different people also some stains were also found on the pillow
of her bed, Online News Agency reported.
In light of this fresh evidence the investigative circle has been
widened and the investigative teams of police and the army are
conducting their separate probes.
was told that all army personnel in custody including Captain
Hammad would be made to take a DNA test after which Dr Shazia
would be called to identify the rapist in a line up.
the mystery still persists as it clearly appears that the Army
authorities are dragging their feet and despite the fact that
Capt. Hammad had been ‘in custody’ for several days,
why has his DNA tests not been done as yet. Why has any civilian
legal authorities been involved in the investigation is also not
The whole process smacks of a huge Army cover up and would not
be accepted as credible if Army authorities unilaterally declare
that Capt Hammad was not guilty because no independent institution
has been involved in either the investigations or the proceedings
against the officer so far.